Print of OS maps to include 1:25k mappingFORUMS HOME SEARCH FORUMS

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    Peter Edwards Monday 14 Mar 2022 10:18:56

    Yep, thanks.  plotaroute is one of the few tools that has gone to the trouble of sorting out the Ordnance Survey licensing so that map printing is available (for home use) - I presume many other tools which have a global audience simply don't think it's worth the effort for what is only one country's mapping provider.  Given plotaroute can boast that feature, it seems such a shame not to be able to take full advantage of it!

    I'll keep my fingers crossed other users vote for the features.

    In the meantime, thanks so much for a fabulous tool - plotaroute's auto-plotting tool really is second to none!

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    plotaroute admin   Monday 14 Mar 2022 08:53:05

    Thanks for that feedback Peter. I think we've come to the same conclusion, that trying to squeeze a 1:25K map onto one page for a large route isn't practical. What you really need is to split the route into sections and I can see that idealy the system would work this out for you! Anyway, it's on the feature request list now.  In the meantime, the Split a Route tool is your best option. And you can still keep the original unsplit route when you use this. 

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    Peter Edwards Sunday 13 Mar 2022 19:02:00

    Hi.  apologies for the delayed reply - I've been away hiking in the brecon beacons.  :)

    That example you've provided looks like it would help Colin Bennett, I think, as he was attempting to print his entire route on to a single page in 1:25K.

    Unfortunately, for my purpose, I don't think it's very practical to squeeze a route of the size of three peaks to be that small.  Having the whole route on one page is just too tiny to make out the detail, especially if the weather conditions are poor and rain is covering the map case.

    I also go on significantly longer trips with my local outdoor group that covers much greater distances than this single day route - we have walked the Wainwright Coast to Coast route, the full length of the Pennine Way etc.  Long distance paths like these take weeks to walk and really do need to be broken down into stages.  I can see that this can be done manually by the user into individual routes for each of the stages, but as I'd also like to have one complete unbroken route for navigation purposes, it is a painful workaround.

    I realise that the request certainly does require development work, though I'm not sure why the size of the route needs to be a limitation - rather than specifying the number of pages / stages to break the route into, it would be ideal if the app could work out the minimum number of stages/pages required to fit on 1:25K maps.  This is the sort of functionality that comes with products like Memory Map on Windows, though of course that's an application rather than a web offering.

    I did pull together a PDF of what I have eventually printed out for this 3 Peaks route - by selecting the 1:25K pages from the two existing PDF exported options, Portrait and Landscape ... but I couldn't upload it this forum, unfortunately.  I'm sure you get what I've been asking about it, though.  :)

    I understand I may be asking for the moon on a stick but it's good they're listed as feature requests.  I'll keep my fingers crossed that other users see the benefit too.

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    plotaroute admin   Thursday 03 Mar 2022 11:03:00

    Hi Peter,

    A quick update. We've been doing some investigation into this and we've found a way to force the print process to use 1:25K scale OS maps. However, there are some issues and things to note.

    Firstly, the map features will inevitably be a lot smaller, as the 1:25K image is being squeezed onto a page that it isn't naturally designed to fit (see this example using your three peaks route). There will also be limits to how large an area you can feasibly expand the 1:25k maps to on one page. Your three peaks route is probably at the limit.

    Secondly, our PDF export may not be able to handle this, so you might need to use the "Print using browser" option. As most browsers have PDF export options these days anyway, this is probably less of an issue.

    Let us know what you think about these points.

    The automatic selection and mixing of landscape and portrait pages in one print out is much more complicated than it would seem, so this is probably not something that we can do so easily.

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    Peter Edwards Thursday 03 Mar 2022 10:07:39

    Brilliant.  Thank you.  I know they're not the sexiest of new features, but being able to use plotaroute to produce backup printed maps of the route, in case of a technology disaster, is really the only feature I think is sorely missing.  It's an incredible value tool.  :)

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    plotaroute admin   Thursday 03 Mar 2022 08:58:01

    That's a good idea Peter - we've added another Feature Request (number 132) to automatically select the page layout with the best fit (landscape or portrait) when printing a route.

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    Peter Edwards Wednesday 02 Mar 2022 09:22:12

    Great.  Duly upvoted. :)

    I'd also like to see an automatic selection option for the portrait / landscape choice for each stage, rather than all-in-one choice... maybe that can be looked at at the same time?  or added as a separate feature request ...

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that other users want to vote for it too.

    Thank you!

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    plotaroute admin   Wednesday 02 Mar 2022 08:12:00

    Sorry Peter, I thought this was already on our Feature Requests list. It's been added on there now, so if anyone is interested in this please vote for it on our Feature Requests page (number 131).

    One other thing to mention, you can access OS maps at 1:25K scale using the route navigation features of our mobile app, so this is anotther option to consider other than printing it out.

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    Peter Edwards Tuesday 01 Mar 2022 15:02:32

    ah, yes.  I totally appreciate that to improve this functionality requires dedicated technical effort.  I was posting mainly to add my voice to Colin's and hope that it will be possible for us to request this feature be added to the site wishlist.

    In my situation, I have ended up generating two PDFs - one portrait and one landscape - for the maximum number of stages (10) I could split the route between.  This has resulted in nine of those stages being available in 1:25K.  I then pick and choose the pages that have the 1:25K maps so I am printing 6 pages from one PDF and 4 from the other.

    There are two major drawbacks - the first is that one of the stages is only available in 1:50K regardless of which orientation is selected, due to the 10 stage limitation.  The other is that because I'm picking a random assortment of pages from two separate PDFs, is that I am forced to print the pages single-sided.  If I print double-sided, then there's no way to accommodate the pages from the other PDF.

    Overall, it's just a teeth-gnashingly frustrating experience, which is really all that mars my use of  If there's any way to steer the development to work in that direction, I'd be over the moon.  :)

    I can see I could use the Split a Route tool to break it down to several smaller routes, but that's not really much of a solution - the whole route is not particularly large (we'll be walking it in half a day), so I think it's reasonable to expect to be able to print it out without manually hacking it to pieces.  A user creates one whole route so that they can use tools on a smartphone or GPSr to direct them.  I don't think it's very practical to expect them to maintain two copies of the route - one complete one for use on the ground and another collection of smaller routes broken down solely for generating pages to print ...

    Many thanks.

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    plotaroute admin   Monday 14 Feb 2022 09:03:00

    Thanks for that feedback Peter, that's very helpful.  These are not quick fixes unfortunately, but we can bear them in mind as we continue to develop the site.  In the meamtime, one other option you could consider is using the Split a Route tool to split longer routes into shorter ones that would not require the map to be zoomed out so far to fit them on a single page.

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    Peter Edwards Sunday 13 Feb 2022 19:45:31

    I am experiencing the same problem Colin is reporting.  I have plotted a ~25 mile route of the Yorkshire Three Peaks route.  I'd like to print it out at 1:25K but using the "print using browser" technique doesn't really help because the complete route is too big to fit on one screen.  Instead, I need it to be split across multiple pages for printing.  Unfortunately, plotaroute doesn't quite offer the intelligence that I think is needed for this scenario.

    If I print out the route across 10 pages in both portrait and landscape, then I can pick and choose the 1:25K maps to print for 9 of those stages / pages.  Unfortunately the seventh section is always printed in 1:50K whether landscape or portrait is chosen.  As there is a limit of 10 pages max, I cannot see any simple way to get the 7th stage to print out in 1:25K.

    1) like Colin, I'd like to be able to just specify the whole OS scale to 1:25K and then have plotaroute be intelligent enough to break it down into the smallest number of A4 pages to print the whole route. For exceptionally large routes (John O'Groats to Lands End!), this might of course require the PDF to be over 10 pages - why is there currently a max. limit of 10 at all?

    2) I'd also like plotroute to be intelligent enough to select landscape or portrait as appropriate for each particular section - I cannot see a good reason why this is currently an all-pages-must-be-the-same choice that is left to the user.

    Printing is the only sore spot I have left with plotaroute - it provides great access to such a great mapping resource, but I cannot easily turn that into a high res paper backup to our devices for use in the field.

    Given that there doesn't appear to be any licensing issues related to printing the OS maps and it would seem to be solely a technical issue, I would love for this area of printing to be improved.  :)

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    plotaroute admin   Saturday 15 Jan 2022 08:17:09

    Sorry Colin, there is no way to force which scale of OS map is used when printing - the scale of map used depends depends on how far zoomed out it needs to be to fit the route on the page. However, if you choose "Print using browser" when you come to print the route instead of "Print to PDF", you'll be able to zoom in on the map before printing if you wish until it switches to 1:25K. Most browser print functions now have a PDF option, so you should still be able to create a PDF output if you want one.

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    Colin Bennett   Friday 14 Jan 2022 18:31:51

    I have a circular walking route which fits on one page whether it is 25K or 50K. If I put it on two pages it prints half of the route at 1:50K on each page. I want it to print one page at 1:25K. Can I do that?

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    plotaroute admin   Saturday 11 Dec 2021 07:50:03

    The scale of map used depends depends on how far zoomed out it needs to be to fit the route on the page. So, if you need 1:25K you would need to print the route in shorter sections over more than one page, so that it can be more zoomed in. You can do this using the Multi-Page option when printing.  

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    Colin Bennett   Friday 10 Dec 2021 16:46:03

    It seems to default to 1:50K and can't be overridden.

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